London Grinds to a Halt

Written on 1 May 2014

There was chaos on the streets of the capital for the last 48 hours as the tube strike reached its full effects. Much of the underground in central London had to close due to the strike with just a couple of stations and lines running. The lack of an underground service forces many commuters to find an alternative means of getting to work; clogging up the already congested roads and over ground stations. The Barclays Bike scheme suddenly becomes even more popular with docking stations empty; disrupted Londoners take to pounding the pavement in an attempt to get to work; and people end up queuing down the street for the bus. Holiday-makers were left stranded; students were late for exams; and tourists were left wondering at how a modern metropolis like London is able to come to such a complete shut down.

An event that affects so many can end up bringing a community together and this is a prime example. Londoners unite in the frustrations of public transport; people happily give complete strangers advice on the best way to get to Victoria or Paddington and eagerly retell their own experiences of the tube strike delays. Employers become much more flexible and understanding allowing people to work from home and not raising more than an eyebrow when you walk into the office 40 minutes late and in a hot mess!

At the time of writing there is another tube strike in the works, this time for a longer period of 72 hours, from the evening of bank holiday Monday. This is sure to cause just as much disruption and many exasperated commuters. Talks are still due to be taken place and so hopefully things will be resolved and we can go back to ignoring each other on the tube.